Micron and Western Digital are separately negotiating to acquire Kioxia in deals that value the Japanese firm at about $30 billion, the WSJ reported, referencing unnamed sources.
Kioxia was formerly known as Toshiba Memory and was spun off from Toshiba in 2018 as part of a plan to save Toshiba from heavy losses due to bankruptcy of its Westinghouse subsidiary, a player in the nuclear energy industry. Kioxia was bought by an equity finance consortium led by Bain Capital but with Toshiba retaining a substantial minority stake.
Kioxia's plan of record was to stage an initial public offering in 2020 to pay off its backers but it delayed that move referencing uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic amongst other reasons. The plan had been to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on October 6, 2020.
The report said that if a deal can be agreed it could be finalized in the late spring. If not it could go ahead with its plan for an IPO.
Micron has recently announced plans to exit from phase-change memory (3D-XPoint) to increase focus on DRAM and NAND flash memory production. Western Digital has a long-term partnering relationship with Kioxia, and previously with Toshiba, whereby it helps bankroll manufacturing expansion in return for a guaranteed supply of flash memory for solid-state drives and memory cards.
Related links and articles: